Stuffed Acorn Squash

A delicious way to cook any kind of squash.

Vegan. Hands-on time: 15 mins. Total time: 50 mins.

Contributed by Moira Adams (May 2007).

Stuffed Acorn Squash

Photo © Veg World

This is an excellent way of cooking squash. Not only does it taste delicious, it also looks good - it'll certainly impress your dinner guests. And although you'll need to start the preparation about an hour ahead of time, the actual hands-on time is relatively short.

I've specified acorn squash here, but I've also had good results with onion squash, butternut squash and small pumpkins. The stuffing also lends itself to variation. You could try cashew nuts or pine kernels in place of the chestnuts, for example. Or if you really want to cut down the work, you could use a pack of ready-made stuffing instead (but it won't taste as nice).

With a small squash, the quantities given here will make a generous dinner dish for two. If the squash is larger, you can cut each half in half again (after cooking) to yield a light meal for four. I usually serve it with boiled new potatoes and a small side salad.

Ingredients

Method

Oven: Pre-heat to 350F (180C)

Start by cleaning the outside of the squash (you don't eat the skin, but it needs to be clean when it's on the plate). Then cut the squash into halves lengthwise. Using a large metal spoon, scoop out the seeds and fiber from the center.

Brush the exposed flesh with olive oil. Lay each half on an oiled baking tray, with the cut side facing down. Place in the oven, and roast until the squash is tender but still firm (20 - 30 minutes).

While the squash is cooking, prepare the stuffing. First, place the couscous in a heatproof jug. Pour on boiling water to cover it completely, and leave to stand for ten minutes. If the water becomes fully absorbed, add more.

Next, gently fry the onion in olive oil. When it start to turn brown, stir in the chestnuts, mushrooms and breadcrumbs. Cook for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain the cous cous and add this to the mixture. Then add the garlic, soy sauce and seasoning. Keep warm until you are ready for the next stage.

Remove the squash from the oven. Turn the halves over. Scoop half the stuffing into the cavity of each half of the squash, pressing down as you do so. Return to the oven and cook for a further 20 minutes or so, or until the squash is nice and soft.

Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.